Human Nature in Gabriel Garcia Marque´s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

Human Nature in Gabriel Garcia Marque´s A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

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Soar on Wings like Eagles
“A Very Old man with Enormous Wings” is a short story written by Gabriel García Márquez in the third person objective point of view that utilizes magic realism to highlight some of its literary themes and elements. The title of the story alludes to an angel that Peyalo and his family find after he has fallen into their yard. The story utilizes magic realism all throughout primarily through the angel to make elements pertaining to human nature shine through. Márquez shows these various aspects of human nature in the story mainly by highlighting three main natures, caring, curiosity, and the opportunism of humans through his use of magic realism.
Caring about something living is something that pretty much everyone can identify with, regardless of whether or not that that life holds intimate value or not to a person. Through this idea it can be seen that there are different kinds or levels of caring that everyone exhibits. This nature of caring for another’s life can be seen inside the story especially where Márquez wrote that “they did not have the heart to club him to death” (270) when referring to Peyalo killing the angel. Peyalo refused to end another’s life however shortly after Peyalo can be seen standing watch over the angel from his kitchen armed with a bailiff’s club as a weapon just in case an occasion were arise that might change his mind. This contrast of emotions seen from Peyalo may raise the question, does Peyalo naturally have some form of caring for this other life that has in no way directly threated him or his family in any way. If Peyalo does indeed connect with the angel in a caring manner why would the thought of clubbing the angel to death even be considered option for him, le...


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...s world within the text of “A Very Old man with Enormous Wings.” What it means for people to care, explore, learn, promote, survive, and be curious about the fantastical world around them. These themes focusing on human nature become a whole lot more significant when you hold them up next to the angel. The humans did not care quite enough for the angel which can be clearly seen when noticing how they took advantage of him by exploiting him for the opportunity that arouse due to their desire for wealth. The family used him to satisfy their curiosity while also treating him like a common house pet. All of these factors are a testament to the many short comings of the human race even when they are graced with something that only a short period of time ago they could not have even imagined and that would have continued to have exists apart from their interference.

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